“It’s a priority”, Project underway to modernize the downtown electrical system

HIGH EARTH, Ind. (WTWO / WAWV) – A power outage that left businesses in downtown Terre Haute without power for several hours was caused by old wires burning. Now there is a project underway to modernize the system.

The Terre Haute underground system was built in the 1950s and is the energy source for many businesses in the region.

Duke Energy District Manager Rick Burger said multi-million dollar project plans are in place to replace these wires and move transformers underground above ground.

“It will be easier for our teams to work when necessary,” added Burger.

The plan started a year and a half ago. First, the right of way must be established, then new cables will be installed. “We have to make investments to keep the current going,” he added.

Burger said this project had been on Duke Energy’s radar for years before problems arose.

“We saw this as the number one problem we needed to fix. I appreciate that senior management makes this a priority even when budgets are tight. We have to make that happen, ”Burger said.

The project completion date is expected around 2024.

The Terre Haute Children’s Museum had to be closed for lack of electricity on Thursday afternoon. But, executive director Susan Turner said day-to-day operations were not badly damaged.

“The city and the utility companies are working hand in hand to ensure that our city moves forward. We are seeing so much growth, so much progress. The system needs to be fixed, I think they’re doing the best they can, ”Turner added.

Power was fully restored to the city center around 6.30am.

“Our number one goal every day and year is to maintain a reliable power supply, especially with our downtown businesses. If they don’t have the power, we know they lose income, ”Burger said.

Mywabashvalley.com will continue to follow this story as more updates become available

David H. Henry